16 Apr Maintaining Hygiene & Food Safety Control During the Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) Pandemic
As a result of the ever-evolving Covid-19 pandemic, the maintenance of hygienic conditions within food manufacturing facilities are essential in protecting both personnel health and product safety. COVID-19 does share susceptible target groups with many of the common foodborne pathogens, namely the immunocompromised and the elderly. Therefore, food producers should always maintain their focus on food safety and practice due diligence when it comes to the monitoring and maintenance thereof.
Although the respiratory disease is primarily transmitted via person-to-person exposure, a strong immune system is required to fight the virus. Maintaining a strong immune system requires eating food that is healthy and free of pathogenic bacteria or any bacteria that could lead to illness. One effective means to demonstrate due diligence is through regular product testing. Microbiological end-product testing coupled with trend analysis, can be of considerable value when evaluating the efficacy of a food safety management system. Furthermore, microbiological testing of raw materials as well as the testing of product at various stages of production, allows producers to see if the final product is likely to be microbiologically satisfactory and safe to consume.
In addition to this, it has been shown that the microbial load on food-contact surfaces directly contributes to the microbial population of the food product itself. Therefore, cleaning and disinfecting of both food-contact and non-food contact surfaces are important aspects of maintaining food safety. According to the World Health Organisation, contamination on surfaces touched by employees and customers that have the coronavirus disease, is one of the ways that COVID-19 spreads.
Monitoring the efficacy of hygiene and cleaning procedures will therefore play an important role in limiting both the spread of disease and any possible cross-contamination of food-borne pathogens within the production facility. Food producers should constantly reinforce all good, basic hygiene practices such as proper hand washing techniques. Frequent swab testing of surfaces can be particularly useful in validating the efficacy of cleaning procedures.
Microchem Lab Services has a dedicated SANAS accredited pathogen testing laboratory, with a team of vastly experienced microbiologists to perform pathogen testing and determination on a range of food products and ingredients. In addition, our experienced hygiene inspectors can carry out on site swabbing and provide you with valuable reports and interpretation of test results that will assist you in managing quality at your factory.
What’s New At Microchem Lab?
Microchem Finance has implemented a new automated invoicing system to ensure speedy delivery of invoices and statements to the finance contact. For this to work, any change to the contact must be communicated in a timely manner. With this automated system, any account that is overdue will be automatically put on hold as from 1 May 2020. Should you have any pending queries urgently contact your debtors’ clerk. A reminder will be sent to you (the finance contact and the requestors) that will attach all the invoices overdue together with a statement should the account be placed on hold.
In addition to the new developments we are in the process of testing and eventually rolling out consolidated invoices as well as attaching results to the invoices to ensure easy processing of invoices. Please communicate with your debtors’ clerk should you wish to go over to consolidated weekly or monthly invoicing.
If you have any other suggestions to speed up processing, please feel free to make contact with our financial manager, Charl Bekker (email@example.com).
Microchem Lab Now Has Two New Depots
Microchem Lab Services now has Sample Preparation Depots in Uitenhage (Eastern Cape) and Tzaneen (Limpopo) where daily collection services are offered to clients in the nearby areas. These areas being Hankey, Patensie, Tzaneen, Letsitele and Hoedspruit.
One Stop Lab Solution
- Rapid turnaround times for all analysis
- Cost effective analysis
- Continuous additions to scope of testing
- Reliable results continuously verified by international proficiency testing schemes
- Leading edge technology
- Special reporting, online portals as well as API integration